Sewage treatment failure – is local government getting the basics right?

Given the Pacific Northwest’s reputation, if you told people around the country that our region’s largest sewage treatment plant is easily paralyzed by large rainfalls – well, they’d probably find that funny. A “catastrophic event” at King County’s West Point sewage treatment plant within Discovery Park last February resulted in “235 million gallons of untreated […]

McKenna on KIRO: Jimmy John’s “disloyalty” case

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a federal appeals case out of Minnesota. Workers at a Jimmy John’s franchise had been trying to form a union but lost the election by two votes. They responded by handing out flyers suggesting that, without sick leave pay, people who eat at the restaurant would themselves […]

Government takes people’s stuff without a conviction or even charges. That’s wrong

You can say this about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: He doesn’t mind swimming against the tide. That can be an admirable trait, depending on the issue. Increasing the use of civil asset forfeiture (CAF) is the wrong issue. Sessions announced this week that he is undoing the modest CAF reforms put in place by […]

“Morally repugnant”? No, it’s simply what rural families need

Too many Washington families are caught in a judicial and bureaucratic limbo thanks to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. The case is about so much more than water – it’s about, as Madilynne Clark of the Washington Policy Center wrote, “two of the most fundamental necessities – homes and livelihoods.” The court’s decision has […]

McKenna on KIRO: How much trouble is Donald Trump Jr. in?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about Donald Trump Jr.’s revelation that he met with a Russian lawyer a year ago in hopes of securing damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, joined him at the meeting. Trump Jr. was told the meeting “is part of […]

Logic prevails: Legislators go with a levy swap

After all that – the years of court hearings, legislative debates, campaign promises and contempt fines – the Legislature’s main McCleary solution is (drumroll please): A levy swap. Hey, that sounds familiar. Not that the ultimate budget package had anything to do with the 2012 campaign. Legislators chose the property tax swap because there is […]

McKenna on KIRO: Florida takes Stand Your Ground self-defense farther

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about Florida’s recently-passed update to its Stand Your Ground law, which a circuit court judge struck down this week. The Associated Press reports, “Now, the new law requires prosecutors to shoulder the burden of disproving a self-defense claim. State attorneys have said that essentially forces them to unfairly […]

Local shipbuilder’s woes show absurdity of Jones Act

Do you love old buildings? The details and craftsmanship from years past can be impressive, but conditions vary widely. Buildings that are well-maintained and updated can stand for centuries, but some are so old and creaky that they’re beyond saving. Laws are like that too. A law’s foundation can last a long time, if legislators […]

Legislature’s procrastinating reflects the reality of negotiating

Well, it’s really happening again: the Legislature is now in a third overtime session while lawmakers wrangle over a state budget deal. The prospect of a government shutdown is looming once more. If a budget deal isn’t in place by July 1, many state government functions will screech to a halt. Most still expect legislators […]

McKenna on KIRO: Police tracking your cell phone movements

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a cell phone privacy case the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear next term. The case will probe whether there are constitutional protections regarding the police obtaining information about your cell phone’s location. Dave Ross: “This is what the sheriff’s department uses when somebody goes missing […]